If you are visiting this page, the chances are you are here because you have been told you need a statement of environmental effects from Council and have never heard of this term before the moment you require one.

What is a statement of environmental effects?

The statement of environmental effects is required for every single development application no matter how small. 



The Statement of environmental effects report is the most important report that accompanies a development application. It is the report that links all the other aspects about the development. Despite how important the report is to obtain approval, most people try to attempt the document themselves and in doing so only scratch the surface of what is required for the report. Below is a guide to what a statement of environmental effects is, and what must be included.

Guide to a statement of environmental effects

A Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) is required for all development applications and is required under the Schedule 1 of Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000.

The statement of environmental effects is the backbone of the development application and provides a justification for the development.

The statement of environmental effects needs to address the following:

  • The likely environmental impacts of the development;
  • How the environmental impacts of the development have been identified; and
  • The steps that will be taken to protect the environment or to lessen the expected harm to the environment

It should be noted that the term “environment” does not only refer to the natural environment but to the natural, built, and social environment.

  • The provisions of any environmental planning instrument (State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs), and Local Environmental Plans(LEPs);
  • The provisions of any draft environmental planning instrument (that is or has been placed on public exhibition;
  • Any Development Control Plans (DCPs);
  • The likely impacts of the development (including environmental impacts on both the natural and built environments, and social and economic impacts in thelocality);
  • The suitability of the site for the development;
  • Any submissions made; and
  • The public interest

The statement of environmental effects MUST address all of these above and go into detail into each relevant clause and control within the documents. Where the development results in a non compliance to a LEP clause of a DCP control then it must be justified within the statement of environmental effects.

Please Note: Where the development results in a non compliance with a clause from the LEP then, in addition to the justification in the statement of environmental effects, a clause 4.6 Exception to development standards report must be submitted with the development application.

State Environmental Planning Policies

The State Environmental Planning Policies are Environmental Planning Instruments (EPIs) that are prepared by the NSW State Government and apply state wide.

The most common State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) are the following:

State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008
This Policy specifies a variety of developments that can be undertaken under exempt development (not requiring any development approval). The Policy also provides for types of development that can be done under a complying development certificate (CDC). A CDC can be approved through a private certifier and is replaces a development application. Any development seeking approval under a CDC must comply with the development standards otherwise a Development Application is required.

State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009
This Policy provides certain types of development to provide affordable housing. The most common types of affordable housing are secondary dwellings (granny flats) as well as boarding houses. The policy allows these developments to occur in residential areas even where the Council doesn’t permit the development under the zone.


Local Environmental Plan

Local Environmental Plans are prepared by local Council and are only relevant to that Council Local Government Area. All Local Environmental Plans follow the same structure after a review by the Department of Planning several years ago which created a Standard Format for all Local Environmental Plans knows as the Standard Instrument. Despite having the same format, each Local Environmental Plan or LEP is different.

One of the main purposes of the LEP is to specify the zoning for all land within the local government area. The zoning of a site is what specifies the type of development that can occur on the land with Council approval and what development is not permitted.

The other purpose of the LEP is to provide development standards for the zones. These generally relate to minimum lot size for subdivision, minimum lot size for rural developments to erect a dwelling, minimum lot sizes for certain types of development, maximum height limit for buildings and floor space ratio.

Clause 4.6 Exception to Development Standard

Under the LEP there is a clause that allows Council to consider a variation to any development standard non compliance. The most common non compliances relate to minimum lot size, building height and floor space ratio. While anyone can prepare a variation request under clause 4.6 it is highly recommended you get a town planner to prepare this document.

Development Control Plan

The Development Control Plan is a document that provides a guideline for development. Please note that Council’s can often have multiple development control plans and they are currently not required to adhere to a standard format which can make it difficult to navigate. It is noted that the controls in a DCP are open to variations and a strong justification is usually required to vary the control.

The DCP will often provide specific details relating to different types of development and different circumstances. 

All seem too confusing?

We have a lot of clients who come to us having attempted their own statement of environmental effects, or used another consultant and Council rejects the report. You can save a lot of time and stress by having the report done right to begin with. Our reports are expert quality and cover everything that is required. We have never had any of our Statement of Environmental Effects rejected by Council. We have, however, submitted our statement of environmental effects report for developments that were about to be refused and turned the table on the application gaining approval for our clients.

Need help with your Statement of Environmental Effects?

Have a chat with Josh and the team today!

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In the right hands

Feel safe knowing your development is in the right hands. Our knowledge and experience allows us to get our clients their approvals faster saving them time and money.

What we do and how we can help

We help our clients with their developments by providing professional statement of environmental effects for all Council development applications across NSW. We have an extensive experience with providing justifications for non compliance and in getting our clients developments approved. We provide the following services for all development types:


Our experienced town planners can provide you with expert advice to help you with your development: We offer the following services:

  • Feasibility reports
  • Pre-purchase reports
  • Unapproved works
  • Letters and advice
  • General town planning advice
  • Neighbour objection advice and reports


Get us to provide you with the report you need to get the job done! We provide the following reports:

  • Statement of environmental effects
  • Clause 4.6 Variation
  • Crime Risk Reports (CPTED)
  • Heritage Impact Statement
  • Social Impact Statements
  • Plans of management
  • Waste Management Plans


Let us help you obtain your approval! We provide the following approval services:

  • Lodgement of development applications
  • Project management of applications
  • Attendance at Council meetings
  • Rezoning Application/Planning Proposals
  • Masterplans

We have Town Planning Statement of Environmental Effects Experts servicing these all these NSW Councils

Newcastle and Hunter Valley

Newcastle City Council
Port Stephens Council
Lake Macquarie City Council
Maitland City Council
Singleton Council
Muswellbrook Shire Council
Cessnock City Council
Dungog Shire Council

Regional NSW

Armidale Regional Council
Bathurst Regional Council
Ballina Shire Council
Tamworth Regional Council
Kempsey Shire Council
MidCoast Council
Balranald Shire Council
Coffs Harbour City Council
Yass Valley Council
Junee Shire Council  
Inverell Shire Council
Gunnedah Shire Council
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council
Cootamundra-Gundagai Council
Albury City Council
Kyogle Council
Lachlan Shire Council
Wagga Wagga City Council
Snowy Monaro Regional Council
Wentworth Shire Council
Oberon Council
Murray River Council
Griffith City Council
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council 
Tweed Shire Council
Council Dubbo Regional Council
Lismore City Council
Broken Hill City Council
Byron Shire Council
Nambucca Shire Council
Bega Valley Shire Council
Lithgow City Council
Orange City Council
City of Parkes Shire Council  
Bellingen Shire Council
Bland Shire Council

The Work We do!

With expert experience in Local Government as well as the private sector, our town planners help get development approved. Below is a list of some of the development types we work with.

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Guide to Heritage Impact Statements

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Some evidence suggests reducing or capping parking pays off. In cities that have implemented these measures, driving has declined and public transport use has increased.

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The development has been subject to a lot of public debate with questions as to why the NSW Government are demolishing a functioning stadium instead of upgrading the stadium at a fraction of the cost.

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Objection to Boutique Hotel in Redfern

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